November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!
My kids are making the pumpkin pie this year. Wish us luck!

November 24, 2015

Out Of Step

Out Of Step. 
I feel like I've been a little out of step lately. Trying to balance this new school year with 2 kids and homework, finding time to keep up with the store, housework, gym time... uh, the list could go on. The Holidays always bring on a new overwhelming sense of stress. amiright? 
I'm pretty much a step behind. I know I will catch up. One step at a time. 
Maybe a few extra gray hairs :)

This pattern can be found in the list of free patterns offered by Robert Kaufman.

As soon as I saw it, I needed to make it! I have never done an all solid quilt. I pulled a bundle I had been saving from Art Gallery fabrics and got to work!

I started this quilt at the beginning of the year. I shared a few progress posts herethereunder there and over there. Although I had the top finished, and every intention to complete the quilt at the time, it got placed in a pile and forgotten. I rediscovered it a couple of months ago, found the perfect backing and binding for it in my stash - something I had bought years ago and was saving for an unknown project. I had just the right amount! 

I mostly quilted straight lines, following the flow of the quilt. I had started to fill the 'maze' with lines, but after the first section, decided it was too many lines. So, I unpicked 2 rows. Even with all the turning required, I had it quilted in about 4 days. I filled the extra spaces with offset triangles.
I am so in love with how it all turned out!

I asked my little girl to hold my camera while I put the quilt out on the ice. Naturally, she snapped a few shots of me.  

Frozen lakes make me nervous. But, I couldn't resist the forming ice.
I stayed on the bank, and hoped it was frozen enough to support me. But if not, then at most I would only have a really cold boot. :)

I love all the texture the light shows. 

I wouldn't mind having a wintery picnic. right. here.

Just look how gorgeous this lake is!

Oh! I nearly forgot! I had one last hurdle to jump before getting this quilt done. I did a bias binding, which I've done several times before. For some reason, I had a bit of a rolling problem with this one. It might have been that I didn't have it lined up just right when I turned it over. I may have even stretched it a bit while pressing. I thought I could get over it; maybe it would fix itself in the wash. 
I was nearly finished with it, and decided I just didn't like it. I could do better. So, I took it all out. I used a few more (or all of them) of my Wonder Clips, and started over. It turned out so much better!
There was still a small amount of rolling, but barely noticeable. I'm sure after a wash or two, it won't even bother me :)

November 1, 2015

All Hallow's Eve - 2015

I am so excited about this year's costumes. They were easy to make, fun to put together, and cost was low or free :) 

My boy finally wanted to be a pirate! 
I was given some fabric a few years ago that I have been saving just for his pirate costume. The shirt is made from the same fabric I used for my girl's pirate costume last year. I barely had enough! The pants are made from a stretch material. It was a bit hard to work with. My machine kept skipping stitches. I tried a variety of needles, stitch and thread combos. At last, the only thing that really worked was a straight stitch with a sharp needle on the highest speed setting. Once I got that figured out, it all went together quite quickly. 

I borrowed the coat from my mom. It's a coat she made for a George Washington costume for a school project when my brother was a teen. The arms are a little long, so they are just tucked in a bit. I think it really pulled the whole look together.

Every pirate needs a little gold! 
My boy picked out the color for the sash. It was originally going to be a vest, which was no longer needed after finding the jacket. I like the sash much better :)

I didn't have a pattern for the boot covers. I just wrapped felt around his leg for size, then added a cuff at the top; and, lastly, a curved piece for the shoe top.

The ring was a last minute addition. He got it at his school Halloween party. 
Absolutely perfect!

I had an unbelievably hard time finding a pirate hat. I went to several costume shops, with the only hats available were for teenagers or adults. I basically gave up on finding a hat. 
A few days later, I just so happened to walk down the party aisle at Target and they had a pirate party section, with a pirate hat as a favor. The best part -- it only cost 2 bucks!


There was no question what my girl was going to be .. a mermaid! Her biggest dream right now is to be a real mermaid. She even swims like a mermaid! 
We were on our way out from Joann Craft Stores one day (in July) and happened to see the fabric that would be perfect for her mermaid costume. I can't even tell you how excited she was!

I wanted her costume to be a good reflection of the natural flow of the fabric I was using. I couldn't find any pattern that I was really in love with, so this costume is entirely made up. I'm surprised at myself that I was able to pull it off. Clothes making is not my forte and I struggle with it quite a bit. I've gotten better over the years, but most the time still have to call my mom for help. 

This is my favorite costume so far. I made every part of her costume. 
Her costume makes me want to be a mermaid, too! She looks like she should be attending prom, or walking down the red carpet, instead of trick-or-treating. 

The top was fashioned after one of her halter tank tops. After I finished it, I wished I had made the back a little higher. That thought sat on my mind, until I ultimately made a last minute costume change (more on that in a bit).
One of my favorite parts of this costume is the arm bands. Not knowing what the weather might be on Halloween night, I needed to come up with some way to keep this little girl warm. I made the arm bands long, to cover as much as possible. I especially love the little fin along the side. 

I struggled mostly with the tail. It was the first piece I made. Not only did I battle the skipping stitches, but I also had to make up the skirt. Basically I wrapped the solid blue around her little body, making it form fitting. The fin was then gathered in. I love the flow of the fin when she walks. 

 I made her little starfish earrings. 
I also found these little jewel stickers to add a little more sparkle to her ensemble.

Her headpiece is 2 parts. The first being the double pearl headband.
The second, and more obvious is the flower arrangement. I've made quite a few flowers for her to wear in her hair, but these are my favorite! I'm so happy with how they turned out. I picked beads for the center that resembled sea glass. 
And then there's that starfish!

The last couple of days here have been getting colder. Not wanting this little mermaid to be frozen, I quickly made a little cover-up for her. I used the sequin material and lined it. I just hope it's warm enough!!
This was another first for me. I fabricated the pattern myself and had it sewn together in about half an hour. I'm still in shock!

I will definitely be making it again! .. with a few adjustments :)

They had a fun time trick-or-treating this year. They are much more about collecting the candy than they are about eating it. When I pulled out their trick-or-treat bags, they were still full of candy from last year!
The highlight this year was getting an orange from someone :)

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!